[plug] buying a laptop in Perth

Dean Bergin dean.bergin at gmail.com
Wed Jan 31 08:07:15 AWST 2018

Thanks Marcos for reminding us about the Metabox price tag!

Also I forgot to mention another (albeit pricey) option (apologies if this
was already mentioned) being the Librem line of laptops at Purism [1].

[1] https://puri.sm

On Tue., 30 Jan. 2018, 10:22 Marcos Raúl Carot, <marcos.carot at gmail.com>

> Yes, Metabox you can choose "no OS". They are expensive though (as in
> great components, so yes, it costs money!)
> On Tue, 30 Jan 2018 at 10:04 Dean Bergin <dean.bergin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have some experience in trying to avoid the MS tax, and while it used
>> to be possible to send the media back to the OEM (Dell, Lenovo, ASUS or
>> whoever) if you chose to not accept the EULA, I think that either the EULA
>> is now specifically written so that this is no longer possible.or given the
>> fact that physical media is no longer supplied makes this even more
>> problematic.
>> It seems as though the best way to avoid having to pay for the microsoft
>> licence is to buy second-hand, so that the original purchaser is the one
>> who absorbs the cost and not yourself and microsoft does not make any more
>> money if it is resold.
>> I think Metabox[1] sell laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed and they
>> apparently have a store somewhere in Perth.
>> [1] https://www.metabox.com.au/
>> Kind Regards,
>> *Dean Bergin*.
>> On Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 9:24 AM Arjen Lentz <arjen at lentz.com.au> wrote:
>>> Hi Marco
>>> > I'm a recent arrival to Perth, and I'm looking to buy a linux laptop
>>> (without
>>> > the windows-tax).
>>> It tends to get complicated.
>>> There are some laptops without Linux, some from Dell and Lenovo as
>>> you'll know. Others are from little companies mainly in the US, so getting
>>> the laptop (and service) becomes tricky.
>>> While I'm all for openness, I also have to be pragmatic.
>>> Yes Win is annoying, but the actual net cost in a product is very
>>> minimal - trying to avoid it will cost you more and reduce your choice.
>>> You can make the point to yourself, but the vendor won't notice either way
>>> since with these hassles only so few people make this choice.
>>> I recently got a new laptop (previous one having done well for about 5
>>> years!)
>>> The new one is a Lenovo Yoga 520.
>>> https://www.jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/laptops/lenovo/lenovo-yoga-520-14-2-in-1-laptop-onyx-black/503711/
>>> Yes, I bought it at a local JB Hifi. Bear with me.
>>> Price right now is $1099 incl.GST (special sale thing going on).
>>> Yes it comes with Win10. I left it there, but you can choose to not set
>>> it up - in which case the license won't activate and thus you won't have a
>>> EULA arrangement with Microsoft.
>>> It has a quad core Intel i5 8250U 1.6GHz (turbo to 3.4GHz) which is a
>>> quad core + hyperthreading.
>>> Why not an i7? Because you will mainly kill your battery life, in return
>>> for very little extra performance - remember it's a mobile CPU
>>> infrastructure.  A desktop replacement approach will always be bigger,
>>> heavier and eat more power (been there, tried that).
>>> It comes with 8GB RAM.  However, physically it's a replaceable module
>>> and you can upgrade it yourself to 16GB. Unfortunately only 1 module so
>>> single channel (=slower), but it performs decently anyhow.
>>> I haven't yet done a RAM upgrade on it as the 8GB will do me for now.
>>> Then, the model linked has 128GB SSD, it's actually an M.2 module.  You
>>> could upgrade it.
>>> But, the laptop actually has a full 2.5" space inside, occupied by a
>>> heavy stainless steel bracket to keep the structural integrity.
>>> So I put an SSD in there (960GB actually, a Sandisk I snaffled for only
>>> a few hundred dollars the previous year on black friday), and boot my Linux
>>> straight from there.
>>> That only 'cost' me 5 grams, as the SSD is barely heavier than the steel
>>> bracket I took out.
>>> Total laptop weight is about 1.8 kg.
>>> The screen is 14" Full HD (1920x1080), touchscreen if you want to use
>>> that capability.
>>> Then, you'll be happy to know that everything works, mostly
>>> out-of-the-box.
>>> I installed Xubuntu 17.10 (xfce desktop).
>>> I tweaked a few things: power management can be improved (others had
>>> already done the homework on that), and if you want to have the automatic
>>> screen rotation working (for tent/tablet modes) you also need to install
>>> some bits for that.
>>> The battery life is fantastic, I've got 6-10 hours generally. I was at
>>> LinuxConf in Sydney last week, and just to make the point to myself I
>>> actually left the charger in my hotel room every day, and I had 4+ hours
>>> spare at the end of a day even with presentations and videos having run on
>>> it.
>>> The laptop has full-size HDMI, and USB-C (as well as regular USB).
>>> The HDMI out works out-of-the-box for me, both video and audio.
>>> Brilliant. Oh it's an Intel integrated graphics, runs on the clean free/GPL
>>> drivers.  I've tested it with Runescape and it performs quite adequately.
>>> It's not built to be a gaming laptop so it's actually more than reasonable
>>> for graphics needs.
>>> It won't charge via USB-C, but you can connect an Ethernet port if you
>>> need it (I snaffled a USB hub + gigE for $10, rarely need it but it's
>>> useful) and of course these lightweight laptops don't have a CD/DVD/BluRay
>>> but you can get those very cheaply on USB if you really need to. I won't
>>> bother with that at all.
>>> Overall I find it a very good laptop for a very decent price.
>>> There's always some trade-offs.
>>> Regards,
>>> Arjen.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> PLUG discussion list: plug at plug.org.au
>>> http://lists.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
>>> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.org.au
>>> PLUG Membership: http://www.plug.org.au/membership
>> --
>> Kind Regards,
>> *Dean Bergin*.
>> _______________________________________________
>> PLUG discussion list: plug at plug.org.au
>> http://lists.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
>> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.org.au
>> PLUG Membership: http://www.plug.org.au/membership


Kind Regards,

*Dean Bergin*.
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